Movies usher in holiday

By Thomas Garcia: QCS staff writer

As seasons change and holidays approach I often notice the signs or omens if you will of their arrival.

Take Halloween for example. You can drive down the street and notice a few houses with decorations in the lawn or in their front windows. In some office buildings decorations have been set up and pictures from Halloweens’ past have been placed on display.

Let us not forget our local retailers. You cannot help but notice the stockpile of snack-size candies, costumes and festive decor. Some groups run haunted houses and hold costume theme dances, all in good spirits, fun and celebration of the spooky holiday.

I would have to say my kick off for Halloween is scary movies. I was very young, 10 maybe 11, when I started watching them.

I remember getting up late one October night and sneaking into the living room. I turned on the satellite and began to watch a movie. At the time I had no idea what that movie was but rest assured I knew if my mom woke up and found me, I would probably be running for my life too that night.

I sat in front of the TV with the volume turned low and watched as a masked man tore through a house looking for a girl. What scared me and oddly drew me in more was the fact that this masked killer was slow and methodical. Each step was well planned. No wasted time or energy.

I had already seen “Friday the 13th” and “Nightmare on Elm Street,” and knew Freddy and Jason quite well.

So there I was with a blanket clutched tightly in my hands and eyes glued to the TV. As the movie went on I would cover my eyes and peek through my fingers, afraid to watch but determined not to miss the good parts.

The killer was right there, the girl was screaming and fighting back, but the masked man kept coming. Nothing could stop him.

Then just as all seemed lost, a gunshot rang out, then another. And the masked man fell out of the second story window. He lay there motionless, dead, I presumed.

As the commotion and panic slowly went away, a man looked out the window and the masked man was gone. Not a trace. He just vanished. And then a creepy song began to play.

That movie sent chills down my spine and if you have not guessed it yet it was John Carpenter’s “Halloween.” I thought at that moment no one could be scarier then Michael Myers.

Of course that particular night I was proven wrong.

As I watched the credits roll and awaited the next movie I saw a figure out of the corner of my eye. I did not look because that irrational fear part of my brain had kicked into full overdrive and I was certain it is Michael Myers.

I could have only been so lucky.

As I turned my head I saw my mom, who was looking down on me with eyes that could melt steel and freeze water all at the same time.

Without a blink, she asked what I thought I was doing and why I was out of bed. I know now that was a trap question designed only to provoke a programmed response further incriminating me. But then all I knew was you do not lie to your parents and I responded, “I watched this movie with a guy that stabbed this lady and got shot and now he’s’ gone.”

Thinking back, I would have killed for the gift of gab I possess now. That conversation might have gone more like “I was watching cartoons,” or, “It was a show about the Bible.”

Let’s just say that particular night I went to bed with a double whammy, certain that out of the darkness a killer was going to get me and at dawn a mother was going to punish me.

Thomas Garcia writes for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at: